Business registration

Date published: 1 January, 2015

If you want to apply for any funding available on this website, or you want to keep cattle, sheep, goats or pigs, you must register your details with us.

How it works

You can register your business online by creating an account on our Rural Payments and Services portal.

Registering online is secure, quick and easy to use. Our online system can also check and validate information to make sure you provide accurate details first time.

Alternatively, you can register using the PF01 - Registering a business form.

You can register several different types of business with us and, depending on the business type, we may need various kinds information from you. You can find out more about business types below.

Business types

When you register with us we will ask for details about you, your business and location.

Once registered, you will receive a Business Reference Number and, where appropriate, a County Parish Holding Number. This is also referred to as a Location Code Number.

The Business Reference Number can be used to identify your business when contacting us or applying for funding.

The County Parish Holding Number can be used in the same way where land is involved, as well as being used for recording animal movements or conducting inspections.

If you are a livestock keeper you are required to register with the Animal and Plant Health Agency for a flock or herd number. You will need your County Parish Holding Number to do this.

We are required to share some of the information you give us with the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

If you carry out any animal feed activities you are required to tell us. We will then share some of this information with Food Standards Scotland.

Making changes

It's important that the information we hold about you and your business is accurate and up to date. If not, it could affect funding you have received or may be applying for.

Changes should be made as soon as possible online or by completing the relevant sections of the Registering a Business Form.

This can be submitted to your local Rural Payments and Inspections Division area office. Hard copies are also available on request from area offices.

Area office contacts

Examples of changes we need to know about are:

  • when you sell your business or change ownership in another way
  • when you split your business into two separate entities
  • when you change the type of livestock you are keeping
  • when you stop keeping livestock
  • when you merge two separate businesses together
  • when you move your location
  • when the members of the business change
  • when the structure of your business changes
  • when any of your contact information changes
  • when you change your bank account details

Changing from paper to online customer

If you previously registered with us using a paper application form (or used an advisory firm to register on your behalf) you can change to become an online customer.

To do this, the 'responsible person' for the business must register using our online system – using the instructions contained in the 'Claim Offline Identity Guidance'.

Use the link below to open the guidance booklet and follow the instructions to change from a paper to online customer.

If you are having trouble using the new system, contact your local area office.

Area office contacts

Download guidance

Click 'Download this page' to create a printable version of this guidance you can save or print out.